Meet the President of Campus Curlz: Marlene Kabeya

Name: Marlene Kabeya

Hometown: Waterbury, CT

Major: Women's gender and sexuality, on a Pre-med track

1. Tell us a bit about yourself.

I was born in Belgium, and I came to the US when I was 5 years old. Ever since I was young, I’ve always been the type of person to help my Mom out wherever I could. I would always be there to help when someone was hurt or sick, I would like play with Band-Aids and things like that. My Mom really inspired my love for the medical field. I wanted to learn the politics of women's reproduction, and women’s health.

2. What are some things you’ve been involved with?

I’m involved in the Pre-Med Society, and volunteered last semester at Windham Hospital. I love to sing in my free time and I sang at the AACC welcome back dinner. I’m also the President and founder of the Campus Curlz chapter here at UConn. Campus Curlz started at Hampton University and I really liked the way it was structured and organized. I wanted to bring the organization of Campus Curlz here to UConn. I went natural recently so I’m learning a lot about my own hair and hair in general so I wanted to bring that knowledge to our campus because I feel like hair is something everyone can relate to.

3. What is your favorite part about being involved in these groups?

In highschool I was class President, so I’ve always had that social aspect in my life. When I came here I feel like I lost that a little bit and I wanted to gain that back. So getting involved in these organizations has helped me meet so many different people who share common interests.

4. What inspires you or motivates you?

My family really inspires me. Being a first born child and coming from a foreign background, my parents have instilled in me to work really hard for what I want. For example, when I came here I didn’t speak English, and my parents, they motivated me to keep going despite what anyone might think of me.

5. Advice you would give to your younger self?

Advice I would give my younger self is to not doubt yourself. When I was very new, I was very quiet so I wouldn’t participate or be social or do as many things because I used that as an excuse to not. I actually didn’t sing until my choir teacher encouraged me to try out, and now singing is such a big part of who I am so I definitely live by that advice. Don’t ever doubt yourself.

6. What are your future goals?

For short-term goals, after I graduate, I want to get accepted to a four year medical school program. My long-term goals are that I want to open up my own practice for girls struggling with teen pregnancy.